Tulsa police, City Councilor Blake Ewing defend actions in January compliance check incident
7:24 PM, Feb 18, 2013
7:28 AM, Feb 19, 2013
TULSA - The dispute between Tulsa police and a city council member continued Monday, this time in the form of a TPD press release.
2NEWS first reported on an alleged incident between the parties Feb. 8 in which Blake Ewing, District 4 councilor and respected downtown business owner, and Tulsa officers exchanged words at one of Ewing's establishments.
Both Ewing and TPD agree officers and an Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission agent entered two of his businesses late last month and began writing citations for unlicensed arcade games.
But several details remain unclear.
Last week Ewing told 2NEWS nine or 10 officers came into his business during peak business hours. According to TPD's release, only four TPD officers and an ABLE agent were there.
Ewing said the amount of law enforcement was inappropriate for the task, and told officers he would find it "very hard to approve additional manpower if this is how the department thought officers were best deployed."
The comment sparked several internal emails within TPD discussing a perceived abuse of power, as well as an anonymous ethics complaint filed with the city clerk's office.
"What I was suggesting to the officer that night was, not that we withhold funding for the academies -- which is ridiculous -- but that I would recount this incident in full detail, because it seemed like a waste of resources and a waste of manpower," Ewing said following the run-in.
The city councilor also released a statement Monday, in which he expressed his frustration with the police department.
"Immediately following the incident, I reached out to Chief Jordan to discuss the manner in which these compliance checks are conducted, which was the issue I raised that evening," he said. "Sadly, the actions of the department in the time since making that appointment have communicated a stronger desire to be vindicated than to improve the way in which they interface with local businesses."
Ewing concluded the statement by saying he would no longer pursue the issue.
"Moving forward, if anyone has concerns with the manner in which I've handled this situation and wishes to discuss this with me personally, please call me at 918.991.8252 or email me at email@example.com . I'm glad to be available and transparent," he said.